An accident such as a motor vehicle collision or a slip and fall can cause a traumatic impact to your head. While not all head injuries are serious, you should pay attention to any symptoms that arise thereafter. According to Johns Hopkins, head injuries pose a risk of causing damage to your brain.
An open head injury, i.e., one that causes a cut in your scalp, is easier to recognize. However, a closed head injury, i.e., one that involves no cut or bleeding, can be at least as dangerous, if not more so. Understanding the different types of head injuries may help you assess their seriousness and seek appropriate medical attention. When in doubt, you should always see a doctor after hitting your head.
Diffuse axonal injury
A diffuse injury is one that affects a widespread area; in this case the entire brain. Axons are fibers that transmit signals from one neuron to another in the form of electrical impulses. Therefore, a diffuse axonal injury is one that causes damage to axons throughout the brain. This type of head injury can be extremely serious but also difficult to diagnose because the damage often occurs at the microscopic level.
A break in the bone of the cranium is a skull fracture. If there is even a chance that you have a skull fracture, you should receive medical attention right away because of the risk of brain damage. Skull fractures can range in severity, with a break at the base of the skull being the most serious.
Damage to blood vessels or other structures in the brain can cause bleeding inside the skull. Blood that collects inside the intracranial space can clot, forming a mass called a hematoma. The seriousness of a hematoma may depend partly on where in the skull it occurs.